Oct 20, 2011

Star Gazing

I was around 9 when I saw a celebrity for the first time. Well, not much of a celebrity to be honest. Just Shakti Kapoor. A popular personifier of evil in the 80’s and 90’s. I was with my mother at the Bombay domestic airport waiting to board a plane, when a nice aunty spotted him lurking in a corner. No one approached the poor guy, really. The aunty was kind enough to point out that had this been Amitabh Bachhan, people would be flocking around him in huge numbers. Well, Duh!

Barring this minor incident, my life has always been rather celebrity-dry. The only other incident worth talking about is, well, the one I’m going to talk about now. :D

It was the last couple of days of my lovely honeymoon. After a blessed week of touring the heavenly lands of Kerala (Munnar, Thekkady, Kumarakom, etc.), we arrived at our final stop, a place called Athirapalli. This was a place that I had picked out specifically, after seeing some beautiful pictures of waterfalls. If Google images was to be trusted, and I did, I figured this absolutely gorgeous location was not a place to be missed.

The agent who took care of all the bookings for us suggested a lovely resort on top of a small hill. It looked perfect in the pictures too, and we reached there in the afternoon, after a morning of sightseeing in Cochin.

Our car drove up the hill, directly leading us to the restaurant in the resort. It was kind of open to air, and the view overlooked the waterfall. I must say that it was really nothing short of heavenly. The falls were huge, and the atmosphere was filled with the sound of water gushing at great force. We decided to have lunch before being shown to our room, so we were seated at an elegant table. Once we were handed our menus, the waiter left us and we were alone for a while. (Yes, playing footsies under the table :D)

Only to be interrupted soon by the resort manager. He came up to us with a few routine greetings. I did notice something funny though, he seemed to be bursting with excitement.. Like he wanted to badly tell us something but was restraining himself. It was odd, and I shot him a quizzical glance.

Unable to control himself any longer, I suppose, he blurted out in a heavy mallu accent, “Abishek and Aishwarrya Bechhan are staying in our resssort!”

He was positively beaming with pride at this point.

M and I didn’t comprehend at first. We looked at each other questioningly and looked back at Mr. Manager. He repeated himself, this time with more gusto.

I was in a kind of haze. He was saying the words, but I still wasn’t comprehending. I mean, I’m really your average citizen. Stars don’t stay in the same resorts as I do.

“Ah, how come?” M asked finally.

“They are shooting, saar. For Raavan. Everyvon is here, Abbishek, Aissswarrya, Vikkram, Meni Retnam Saar. Yvvvery-von.”

M was least interested by this information. I, on the other hand was a bit excited. Okay, very excited.Not at the prospect of meeting the stars, really, but at the thought of going back home and regaling people with stories of my beautiful, star-studded honeymoon. Yeah, I wouldn’t say no to a bit more of all the attention I was enjoying as a bride. This would be just perfect to keep people listening to me.

Later that afternoon, our driver-cum-guide took us out to see the falls. Shooting was going on, and the area was cordoned off, so we couldn’t go close beyond a point. There were a lot of people watching from a distance, and we did too. A stunt-double lady wearing a safety harness was jumping off the falls and being pulled up again. This was going on forever and got boring after a while. So we decided to return before it got dark.

Once again our car pulled up to the restaurant. This time, the excited manager jumped forward the moment we got out. Running up to us he said, “Saar, Maam, Abishek and Aisswarrya jess left saar, jess now! They are going to the shewting, jess now saar!”

He looked frantic at this point, wildly dissappointed that we did not get to see them, missing them by just a few seconds. We ourselves were hardly worried, but greatly amused to see this jolly man in such a fever.

Just to humour him, I played along, acting thorougly dissappointed and asked him to tell me all the details, which he gladly did.

Dinner was a treat. They arranged a special table for us at the far corner of the restaurant garden, the one that had the best view. There was candle-light and everything. Very romantic. So we were having a good time, when a couple of men came down for their dinner. From a distance, it was hard to tell who they were, but M figured out one of them was Mani Ratnam “saar” himself.

We didn’t go up to him, for two reasons. One, we were really enjoying ourselves too much to be bothered getting up, and second, we didn’t want to disturb the guy, who obviously had a hard day of work at the falls. So we left it at that.

We were leaving the next morning after breakfast. All packed and ready, we came down to the restaurant to eat. I was really beginning to wonder if I was going to get to meet any of these celebrities to tell people back home. And who should we find standing right at the entrance, but the man from the night before, Mr. Mani Ratnam. Up close. Like, just any other person.

M nudged me. I nudged him back.

“You talk,” he said

You talk,” I said.

Mr. Ratnam glanced at us briefly and started to walk towards his car. At this point, I nudged M real hard. He ran. I ran too. We reached the car.

“Sir, could we get a photograph?” said M

“Sure,” said the man, smiling.

So I posed, smiling even wider, while M took the pic. And then we said our thank yous  and good byes. When we came back to eat, the manager dude was beaming once again. He seemed happy to have supplied us with at least one of the celebrity sightings he had promised us.

“What happened to Abhishek and Aishwarya?” I asked him.

“Maam, they are haaving oll their meals in the room vonly. Waat to do.” he replied, smiling apologetically.

So that was the last morning of our honeymoon. Not a bad way to end it, I thought.

Here is the pic!

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  1. Congrats on your wedding! :)
    And wow, a photo with Mani Ratnam- so cool!

  2. @Sruthi: Thanks, but the wedding was 3 years ago :-) Just thought of writing about this now. And yeah, the pic is cool, isn't it!

  3. Ooooh, good one:)
    If it's appropriate, he's kinda cute no?:D

    And footsie under the table?;) SO sweet. Do you still?:P

  4. @PeeVee: Thanks! :)
    Yes, he is sort of cute. Looks like a teddy bear to me :D And haha, you're never too old to play footsies ;)

  5. Wow, awesum!!

    N glad to knw u hd a happy honeymoon n a chance meetin wid the man who gv us 'Dalapathy' n 'Nayagan' :)

    Happy fr u, Sumitra :)

  6. you have such a knack for story-telling :) very glad you liked kerala and found it beautiful. i always take that compliment personally - my house is 8km from kumarakom!

  7. @Raj: Thanks! And thanks for stopping by, too!

    @Nags: Wow, your house is near Kumarakom? I am very very jealous. I did not want to come back from there at all. And, Thanks!!

    @Kalpana: :D